More Olympics

Government and Olympic officials have been referring to the ongoing Olympic projects as if they were a miracle detergent that would clean up Attica. What is self-evident for every European city – that public spaces should be clean – remains a point of contention even in our «strong» Greece of the 21st century, at least until the Olympic Games came along. It seems that nothing could be done about the neglected areas of Schinias or the Faliron coastline (just 10 kilometers, or six miles) from Parliament House) until the expensive Olympic projects turned these hells on earth into paradises. Now no one remembers which of the new infrastructure projects were already scheduled and funded from European Union funds, and which have simply been brought forward, or even how much they will cost. However, this is no longer important. I fervently hope that the Games will be successful, and simply want to draw attention to some of the city’s woes that the Olympiad will not cure. The air we breathe is still the most polluted in Europe, Athens’s ratio of green spaces per inhabitant is the lowest on the continent, it has the fewest parks and public spaces, the smallest metro, and the worst organized transport. I can point out at least 30 places where refuse such as rubble, garbage, abandoned cars, old water heaters and kitchen sinks have been dumped. Perhaps we need to organize some more Olympiads.